Comcast first major carrier to protest broadband stimulus apps

Comcast became the first major carrier to protest a number of broadband stimulus applications, claiming certain applications requesting grants look to provide service in areas Comcast already provides service.

It was only a matter of time. The broadband stimulus grant rules from both the NTIA and the Department of Agriculture's Rural Utilities Service (RUS) include a challenge clause that allows incumbent carriers to challenge particular applications if they believe broadband service is already available in the proposed areas. NTIA has said it will require incumbents to substantiate their claims.

David Cohen, Comcast's executive vice president, claims that since the U.S. broadband stimulus funding program was designated to bring broadband services to areas where service is not available, targeting areas where it already provides service could "violate eligibility rules."

Cohen did not identify how many applications the company is protesting only saying Comcast will identify applications that are targeting areas where it already offers broadband service.

For more:
- see this Bloomberg article

Related articles:
Broadband stimulus: Clarity is needed, say service providers
No surprise: Country's largest network operators not applying for stimulus money
Qwest opts out of first round of broadband stimulus applications
Montana PSC: Qwest should apply for broadband funding

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